Valentine’s Day is tough. It’s a terrible corporate creation that uses guilt and heightened romantic expectations to sell chocolate, flowers, cards, and boost dinner reservations across the country. And yet, every year, we buy into it. Single people feel left out, those in happy relationships feel as though they’ve done their duty, and those in miserable relationships stomach each other for those few hours and then go home and have really boring missionary sex and go to bed. There is money spent and there are tears spilled (both good and bad) and in the end we are just glad it’s over. Unfortunately, it’s not going anywhere.
Anyway, we here at Onward State try to provide the Penn State community with as much insight as possible. State College has plenty of great spots to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but they’re all surely packed by now. If you need some last-minute or more-creative ideas, we’re here to help. We sent Noel Purcell and Melissa McCleery, photographed by Zack Rickens, to the 10 best romantic locations for you to take that special someone. Here are the 10 best date spots on and around campus.
1. Outside Old Main
Can you think of anything more romantic than University governance? Me neither! However, if it’s a bit too cold for your taste…
2. Inside Old Main
3. 100 Thomas
4. The HUB Steps
If you’re not shy about flaunting your love in public, the platform in the middle of the HUB steps provides great views of what used to be the lawn, as well as some tables and stuff. Plus, a Chick-fil-a sandwich dinner with cheesecake from Sbarro and coffee from Starbucks to top it off can’t be beat.
5. The UPUA’s General Assembly
While your student government debates the relative merits of various funding efforts, elections codes, and the like, you can enjoy a wonderful date in the middle of the floor. The arguments over censure and parliamentary procedure are sure to set the mood for you and your date.
Photo: Greg Schlosser
6. Canyon Pizza
No college student should ever complain about the availability of a cheap date. The benches outside Canyon and the dollar slices provide a chance for you to keep your wallet filled while enjoying the sights and sounds of downtown State College. Pro-tip: Feeding your date Italian food is always a killer move. Lady and the Tramp had that spaghetti scene, but who says you can’t recreate it with a breadstick?
7. The Middle of College Avenue
It’s hard to beat the gorgeous Allen Street gates and Pattee Mall as the setting for your date, and, townie secret: If you’re willing to pay up, you can even sit in the middle of traffic. If your date is a bit of an adrenaline junkie, constantly having to run out of the way of oncoming cars will definitely get them going and show off your wild side.
8. The Lion Shrine
Having your Valentine’s Day spent atop the stately Nittany Lion is certainly the symbol of your best, and you’ll be in countless pictures. The Penn Staters in both of you will connect like they would in no place else, even if the angle is a challenge to negotiate.
9. Beaver Stadium
There’s nothing better than a Penn State football game. Sadly, the gates of Beaver Stadium won’t be open in February, even if it is a Saturday. Luckily, the stadium itself makes a fantastic backdrop for an evening of laughs and football memories. Choose this spot, and your date may just go to quadruple overtime.
10. Outside the Willard Preacher’s Stoop
Because why settle for a mariachi band when you can have this?
BONUS: The Daily Collegian Office
If you’re looking for your date to go terribly so you can break up, doing it somewhere as uninspiring as the Collegian’s Burrowes Street office is the way to go. The setting will make you both so miserable that there is almost no chance of success. Get yourself back to single life with this trick smooth move.
That’s all we’ve got. We hope that, with our help, this Valentine’s Day turns out to be the best one yet. Go out and make your date blush, and remember to wear pants if you use one of our outdoor locations!